tv Up W Steve Kornacki MSNBC January 19, 2014 5:00am-7:01am PST
rs best partner. we built it for our members, but it's open for everyone. there's not one way to do something. no details too small. american express open forum. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. the governor responds. when hurricane sandy made landfall in late october 2012, its fierce winds ravage d new jersey, new york city, and countless communities up and down the east coast. the destruction the super stomach left in its wake was mind numb youing. the region is still suffering many of the aftereffects. many are still dealing with the devastation of lost homes, lost savings, lost lives, or friends and neighbors who are going through that. in the immediate aftermath of sandy's brutally destructive
path our often ideologically opposed leaders were seen coming together in the united bipartisan rescue and recovery effort. remember the storm hit only days before the presidential election in 2012. the image of a democratic president running for re-election in new jersey governor chris christie who was perhapsed most popular republican in america at that point. the image of them standing shoulder to shoulder, that image was a powerful one. christie said his number one goal in the wake of the storm was to help new jersey recover. that was not a time to play politics. last may the governor was back down the shore with president obama recommitting to that same promise. >> from the minute the storm hit, we were working with the local mayors all up and down the jersey shore and in bergen county. everybody came together -- republicans, democrats, independents. we all came together because new jersey is more important and our citizens' lives are more important than any kind of politics at all.
>> just a few months before that meeting at the beginning of 2013 conservatives in the u.s. house were holding up billions of dollars in sandy recovery funds claiming a concern about runaway government spending and rising deficits. they were members of chris christie's own party. that didn't stop the governor from saying this. >> there's only one group to blame for the continued suffering of these innocent victims, the house majority and their speaker, john boehner. it this is not a republican or democratic issue. national disasters happen in red states and blue states and states with democratic governors and republican governors. we respond to innocent victims of natural disasters not as republicans or democrats but as americans, or at least we did until last night. >> now fast forward to yesterday morning, that's when the mayor of hoboken, new jersey, a city
80% under water after sandy, democratic mayor dawn zimmer, came on this show to tell a staggering story. zimmer provided e-mails, letters, and diary entries as documentation to support her allegation governor chris christie's administration has refused to let recovery flow unless the mayor helped push through a luke crative real est development project in her town as represented by the law firm of one of the governor's closest allies. >> the bottom line is it's not fair for the governor to hold sandy funds hostage for the city of hoboken because he wants me to give back to one private developer, and it's important -- i know it's very complicated for the public to really understand all of this, but i have a legal obligation to follow the law, to bring balance development it hoboken. i cannot give a windfall to one property owner because the governor wants me to in exchange for the sandy funds. >> so if what mayor dawn zimmer
told us yesterday is true, then it would appear that the christie administration itself was playing politics. with the one thing that christie has built his reputation on not playing politics with, sandy recovery. zimmer is standing firmly behind the story she told us. >> i'd be more than willing to testify under oath and answer any questions and provide any documents, take a lie detector test. my question back to them is, would all of you be willing to do that same thing, to testify under oath? to take a lie detector test? >> she may get the chance to share her story under oath because we can report to you exclusively some news this morning. the chairman of the new jersey state senate judiciary committee is calling for the new jersey state commission of investigation. this is an independent bipartisan panel comprised of appointees of the governor and state legislature. he is calling on that body to open an investigation into zimmer's claims. in a statement he says this latest evidence of government abuse supported by
contemporaneous writings by mayor zimmer is broader in scope than the george washington bridge lane closings. the sci has the experience 0 to investigate it. the sci serves to conduct fact-finding investigations. it does not have the power to prosecute but it does make all of its work public. this latest potential investigation would with be only the latest facing the christie administration in a scandal that started with the lane closures last september on the george washington bridge. after mayor zimmer aired her allegations yesterday, john wisniewski, heading up the assembly committee charged with look i looking into the bridge scandal, issued a statement saying, quote, we need to obtain all relevant facts, confer with special counsel. new jersey state senate president steve sweeney followed up with a statement pledging to pursue zimmer's assertions. he said, quote, that's new revelations suggest a pattern of behavior by the highest ranking members of this administration that is deeply offensive to the people of new jersey.
if true, they could be illegal. the republican state senator mike doherty said yesterday that lieutenant governor, one of the official s dawn zimmer said, michael doherty says kim g guagdano needs to come clean. in a statement to us friday before our report aired. the office denied mayor zimmer's allegations pointing out she has been supportive of the governor and has praised him in the past. yesterday afternoon the governor's office issued a second fuller statement that did not attack the substance of our report or our interview with mayor zimmer of hoboken but that did had hit this network on how it has covered governor chris christie. msnbc is a partisan network that has been openly who hostile to governor christie and almost gleeful in their efforts of attacking him even taking the step of producing and airing a
three-minute attack ad against him this week. governor christie and his entire administration has been helping hoboken get the help they need after sandy with the city approved for nearly $70 million in federal aid and is target ed to get even more when the obama administration approves the next rounds of funding. the governor and mayor zimmer have had a productive relationship, with mayor zimmer even recently saying she is, quote, very glad he's been our governor. it's very clear partisan politics are at play here as democratic mayors with a political ax to grind come out of the woodwork and try to get their faces on television. that's their statement. we're going to let our reporting and our interview with mayor zimmer speak for itself, though. it is for the record, though, worth note that go much of the quote nearly $70 million that the christie administration claims hoboken has received comes directly from federal programs not controlled by the governor, and that much of that money went to individual ho homeowners not to the city for
making the kind of structural changes that could prevent similar flooding in the next storm. as "the star ledger" reported last night, quote, the christie administration said it has promised nearly $70 million in federal funding to the city of hoboken with more to come. though the state's own sandy fund tracker puts that figure at $14.2 million and includes millions given specifically to residents not the city. but, this is moving beyond the central claim that mayor zimmer made on our show. the claim that we reported and we are interested in getting to the bottom of. she told us that one of the top members of governor christie's administration, the lieutenant governor of the state kim guagdano explicitly told her her level of support was contingent on her expediting a development project in hoboken, a development project that is represented by the law firm of one of chris christie's closest political allies and confidants david sampson, the chairman of the port authority. she also told us that in a separate encounter a second top administration official community affairs commissioner
richard constable strongly implied the same thing. in the diary that she shared with us zimmer asks why the governor would be so interested in that development project. why would it matter so much to him? the statement from christie's office yesterday did not address the development project at all. nor did it defend lieutenant governor guagdano and commissioner constable against zimmer's accusations. the story we reported raises questions that we are still pursuing and that others are now pursuing as well. did lieutenant governor guagdano and commissioner constable explicitly link hoboken sandy funding levels to her moving forward on that development project, to the mayor moving forward on that development project? and if they did, were they following an order from the governor himself? and if that's the case, then why would christie have cared so much about this particular development project in hoboken? those are the questions that are in need of answers. on this show yesterday mayor zimmer offered to take a lie detector test and to testify under oath about her claims and she challenged guagdano and
constable to do the same. we have also invited both of them to be here as well along with governor christie to answer those same questions. with that in mind i want to bring in new jersey assemblyman lou greenwald for the democrats in the state general assembly, also a member of that assembly committee looking into the bridge affair. thank you for joining us, assemblyman. at the top of the show we said the judiciary committee chairman is calling for an investigation into these allegations that dawn zimmer, the mayor of hoboken, has leveled. do you think that is the appropriate venue or do you want your committee looking into it as well? >> steve, the investigations keep piling up. the reason we have this
committee is the same reason. the evidence showed in those are for this new committee to conduct this investigation. we believed it was bigger than a transportation issue. >> steve, we hired really world class counsel and received tremendous accolades for his credentials. we will take the advice of counsel. the mayor's statements were salacious. i think what it points out to, i think the comment that you made, the central claim here is really a constant theme of a culture that seems to be coming out of the executive branch of the style and approach of people whether they're elected officials or not. it's that culture under investigation.
we know there's been a record of abuse of power, the termination of his deputy chief of staff. the central theme we're trying to get to, steve, is how deep did that abuse of power go and what was the root of that abuse of power? one of the things that came out to me in the mayor's comments, the same names keep popping up over the course of these investigations. really whether it's mr. samson or the people involved in the governor's office and that's the question that weigh want to get to. what is the root of this problem? how deep does it go? what's driving this? i think really, again, it comes back to a culture and attitude the governor has created himself. >> one of the concerns i've heard is your committee, the assembly committee fired off about 20 subpoenas to people and
entities. do you imagine this is going to cause problems in you your attempts to get answers? does that give them grounds to tie this thing up in court and say, hey listen, we can't be subpoenaed by two different aspects of the same legislative body? >> i don't think it will, steve, to be honest with you. i don't think this is any different than a case where there are multiple vefts. they have to respond to attorneys representing different parties. we've a very good working relationship with our senate colleagues. senator loretta weinberg is someone i served with in the
assembly. has worked well with wisniewski. our goal is going to be to coordinate those efforts. you've covered up in the state house for many years, steve, you know both houses have very active budget committees where we interviewed the same commission e commissioners. we discussed the same public policy initiatives. the same advocates coming in. if it's coordinated well, if we work directly through that counsel we should be fine and that had will be our goal and initiati initiative. even if they were to make such a charge that would be an excuse. you have a federal investigation going on right now. you have out of hud an inquiry around the sandy funds. there are a number of investigations that are brewing here. we have a constitutional obligation as the ledges gislato look into what happened here. we would not be doing our job if we didn't follow through on what we started.
>> i like to want the majority le leader in the new jersey state assembly for your time this morning. when we come back, bring in the pam and they will all weigh in on all of this straight ahead. today we're going to play a little game. which 4g lte map has the most coverage? this isn't real difficult... pretty obvious to me. i'm going to have to say verizon. verizon. that's right! the choice is obvious. verizon's superfast 4g lte network is over three times larger than any other 4g lte network. act now to get $100 or more off any smartphone when you trade in any smartphone on america's largest, most reliable 4g lte network. that's powerful. verizon. now get a free lg g2, with a 13-megapixel camera. we're gonna be late. ♪ ♪ ♪
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why come forward now and not before now? >> i probably should have come forward before now. this is the hardest thing i've ever done. i should have come forward. i literally -- i literally feel like we -- i have to act in the best interests of hoboken. >> that was hoboken mayor dawn zimmer on our show yesterday. to talk about this i want to bring in new jersey state as assembly minority leader john bramnick, state senator linda greenstein, a democrat and
member of the committee to investigate the bridge lane closure, and a metro politics editor with "the new york times." and, senator, i'll start with y you. we've been talking so much about governor christie and ft. lee and the lane closures. yesterday the mayor of hoboken added this new wrinkle. i wonder what you make of it and where you think -- is there a role here for your committee in this at all? >> i think there is a role for our committee. and, of course, it will ultimately be up to our chairman -- senator loretta weinberger. we are meeting for the firts time and will be discussing that. >> assemblyman, from chris christie's party listening to what the mayor of hoboken had to say, what's your take on it? >> well, with respect to those allegations, the governor responded through mike trewniak.
weigh voted for that investigation. we thought the e-mails and text messages were horrific. and then the committee started and what became unsettling it was no longer bipartisan. it became four members. we can live with that. then the chairman which is isni totally in charge of who gets subpoenaed, when documents are shown to minority members. what we're asking for is if we're going to do an investigation, let's do it in a bipartisan way. when serious allegations are made against anyone, my preference is always law enforcement because i don't really like politicians investigating politicians especially in the assembly committee investigation.
i want to stay on this point about hoboken. they leveled some very serious accusations against the governor from your party on the show yesterday. she provided some evidence to document it. she provided con temp rainous diary entries. we are confident this is a real diary. this isn't just a few pages she slapped together last week. she says that kim guadagno came to her and explicitly linked sandy to funding a development project. shea said that richard constable, the commissioner, basically delivered the same message on stage with her two nights later last may. when you hear that, do you find those to be credible accusations? >> the governor's office responded by saying they are patently false. now if she has evidence of wrongdoing she should take that to a prauosecutor's office.
she has taken it to your show. go directly to law enforcement. >> you don't think there's an oversight role here for the legislature if there's misconduct? >> absolutely. but when you have four oregon five different investigate oer ponls lo panels looking at it, you have to be careful. when you bring the documents in, they become records. the prosecutor can sort out what's public and what's not. where collateral damage is done. i understand the partisan -- look, everyone agrees what happened at the bridge looked bad. but here is a new allegation. let's let law enforcement, or if you bring it to the assembly, make sure it's done in a bipartisan way. that's all the minority is asking. >> i want to read, there was a statement issued to us from both lieutenant governor kim guadagno and richard constable, the commissioner of the department of human affairs not in the statement we read at the top of
the show from the governor's office. we want to read the latest statement. it says mayor zimmer's allegation that on may 16, 2013, commissioner constable conditioned hoboken's receipt of sandy aid on her moving forward with a development project is categorically false. just want to make sure to get that in there. david, you have been following this story. i wonder what you make of what you heard from the mayor of hoboken and how that fits into the bigger picture here if it does at all. >> there are a couple of things that are kind of interesting. one is that, first of all, the fact that it allegedly touches on wolfe and samson is intriguing because as you mentioned that firm has come up time and again in terms of whether it's the ft. lee development project and questions about whether there's any involvement or not. it's a little bit bigger than the one square mile in hoboken in terms of ferreting things out. the other thing, a couple other things, one is that i find it
intriguing it's mayor zimmer who has come forward because she -- my understanding she has been pretty staunch ally of the governor for some time. i think she even moved the date of the election from may to november perhaps to run on the same line or in sync with the governor. and she is also, i think, there have been some distractions locally in terms of the public safety director, you know, winning a discrimination case against the city. and so there are a lot of things that are sort of swirling here but the other thing that i wanted to mention that reminds me of from our days covering new jersey no matter which party is in power there's always some sort of whiff of pay to play potentially in almost everything because there's so much in terms of development. you can look at the work that the governor did when he was the u.s. attorney in terms of going after john lynch and all of these other tempt power brokers. so, again, that whole atmosphere is to me quite intriguing.
>> and when i try to explain outside of new jersey -- i cover new jersey, you served in the legislature in new jersey. when you talk about the reputation of new jersey as a corrupt state, i always say it comes down to one word, development. more often than anything else it is related to these development projects. that's where the corruption kind of springs out. when we started hearing this story from the mayor of hoboken and in looking at these documents, it was not surprising if what she is saying is true, the fact it would be linked to a development project is not surprising. david -- what david chen is saying, though, we're trying to find out if this happened, why would chris christie have had this kind of interest in the project? the only obvious link that exists is the chairman of the port authority, david samson, his law firm wolfe and samson, represent this. the lobbyists trying to make contact with city officials of hoboken, trying to move the process along and copying david
samson, trying to set up teleconferences. i'm not sure about illegal but it looks incestuous. >> one of the things that stuck out to me in reading about this was the client here was the rock fell er group. now this is not a solemn and dewitt fly by guy, in a hurry to get something done. this is a company that it's pretty big and we're sitting on their property, i think. they have patience. they have a the lot of money and wherewithal to wait to get their approvals. the idea they were somehow stepping on the gas and pressuring their lawyer, the local counsel to make this happen seems a little implausible to me. i think about the client, too. i ask myself what is samson up to if this is true? take her at her word, it all still seems fair lly implausibl.
on the other hand i find it implausible that she is making it up as well. i was in hoboken with her the morning after hurricane sandy. i saw the woman sleeping in her office dealing with flooding, riding around chasing the national guard to do some more stuff. i mean, she takes this -- she is a very serious person who has dealt with a lot in her time as mayor. the idea that she would be concocting this would require a lot. i also have to say, i was wondering what was the answer to the question that you posed. why did she wait? now she said maybe i shouldn't have waited, but why did she? >> and we can talk that around a little bit. she answered it. we can play a clip from it but also talk about why that might be, why a mayor or somebody in her position would wait and whether that's credible or not. we will pick that up right after this. ig?
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we're going to play some more from the interview yesterday where hoboken mayor dawn zimmer attempts to answer the question you raised. we are having technical difficulties. we can bat around the question. if you are trying to attack her credibility, the two things i've heard in the last 24 hours are, number one, shea says this happened in may of 2013. here it is in january 2014, and she's coming forward. we can just start with that one. my own thoughts on it are a plausible reason would would be, you know, if you want to give her the benefit of the doubt, the plausible reason would with be in may of 2013 chris christie's popularity is, what, 75% in new jersey. the democratic party is rolling over for him. she said she has had a pretty good relationship with him on other stuff for hoboken. she is reliant on the state for all sorts of things including sandy aid. i can't stand up to this guy and take him down right now but i can be anyways to him for a few months and maybe he'll change his mind on sandy and not force me to do the development.
if you want to believe what she says and give her the benefit of the tout, that's the take you would use. >> believing what she says and accepting it at face value, she could have been afraid to come forward. she didn't have other allies at that time as she would have right now. and she just really would have at that time a very difficult time coming forward. now she didn't, assumption he said that or his people said it, she didn't go along with it. she didn't take that developer. so she, in fact, would have felt comfo comfortable about that and she just didn't feel, it seems, that that was the time to come forward on it. now she feels a lot more comfortable with everything that's happening. >> does that sound plausible to you? >> let me first say i don't know dawn zimmer but i know kim guadagno and the governor. these are two former federal prosecutors. kim actually prosecuted racketeering cases, and everyone knows the governor indicted over 100 politicians. does anyone actually believe that they would be complicit in anything that had any overtones whatsoever that had either
illegality of this type? i don't think -- >> the mayor of hoboken believes it. >> i understand. i get that but i'm saying common sense dictates that these are people who have been very involved in law enforcement and very tough on politicians for a long time. so i think it's difficult for people to believe that they would engage in activity that would be illegal in any sense. >> but when you listened to dawn zimmer yesterday, did you find what she was saying credible? did you find the diary entries credible? >> i have no information keng her allegations. i didn't even see the show. but my sense is knowing chris christie and the fact that i don't think he would be involved in anything close to this, helping david samson, it's so repugnant to him, i would think. this is the opposite of the allegations. that's why it's so difficult, i think, for the public to buy into it. >> david, the other thing, and you allude to this, the other
attack on her credibility i've heard in the last 24 hours has been, well, the governor's office sent out a whole series of tweets after these incidents supposedly occurred in may of dawn zimmer saying favorable things about the christie administration, positive things about the christie administration. do you think there's -- do you think that's a solid attack on her credibility on this? >> you know, since i've -- anything is possible at this point. this is new jersey, after all. i think what's interesting, again, is that there is probably not a lot of up side for mayor zimmer to sort of speak out on her own sort of unscripted in the months after may to kind of, you know, make a point which might sound like sour grapes or might not be could be rated by other things. so it seems like that would have been a little bit out of left field, i guess. the other thing that's interesting potentially is the fact that the governor's folks,
this may not be illegal. it's hard to say. it does potentially smack of hardball politics which is perfectly appropriate. >> the allegation is that samson somehow was involved. >> the allegation is, to be clear, the allegation is spes f specifically that sandy aid was tied by two top level members of the administration. sandy aid was tied to approving of the development project. the question on the table is, if that happened, if that's true and she's offered to take the lie detector test and go under oath, if that's true, why did it mean so much to chris christie? and the suggestion then is that maybe just trying to find connections the only connection that jumps out is the fact the project is represented by the law firm of his close friend and confidant and the port authority chairman. that's not to reach allegation. that's going from the allegation that's been made to say why. >> i can't say with all these different conversations it brings me back to the simple issue. he has been incredibly popular,
overwhelmingly successful at the voting booth, and he's a national figure. anything said about him is front page news. then you have to piece together what exactly was said and then you create these hypotheticals based on what she said and what someone else said and, to me, i think we have to do this in a logical way, the way a prosecutor would do it, not in the news media nor in the -- >> do you want the u.s. attorney to look into -- would you like the u.s. attorney to look into her allegations? >> i would rather have the u.s. attorney than politicians. i have no problems if she brings that to the attorney general. politicians screaming about politicians is the problem we have. >> governor christie is in florida as all this happens. what is in store for him down there. that's next. i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. hmm? [ male announcer ] new alka seltzer plus-d
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politics in new jersey, those who are in politics. >> mayor zimmer is the straightest shooter in politics that i've ever known, and a i think anyone else knows. that's her reputation. and the fact that she made contemporaneous writings and recordings which are admissible into evidence and have great weight says a lot about the veracity of it. >> we'll take a look at what else is being said and how governor christie is spending his second day in the sunshine state straight ahead. today we're going to play a little game.
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♪ drimusic stopsusic ♪ music resumes ♪ music stops ♪ music resumes ♪ ♪ [announcer] if your dog can dream it, [whistle] purina pro plan can help him achieve it. nutrition that performs. you didn't need to get up at 8:00 a.m. yesterday morning to hear about the allegations made by the mayor of hoboken. dawn zimmer said two officials told her the city of hoboken would not get critical sandy relief money unless she approved a development plan. you might expect when an accusation like that is leveled at an administration what mayor
zimmer told us yesterday morning made headlines almost everywhere. shock claim: christie camp held sandy funds hostage. "the star-ledger" calling it a bombshell and explosive. to headlines in "the washington post," reuters, "usa today," other broadcast news networks and many, many are more. this was not how the weekend was suppose supposed to go for chris christie. the plan was for governor christie, who is starting out as chairman of the republican governors association, to spend the weekend in florida raising funds, raising his profile including raising his profile. i read that wrong there. the florida trip was described as a victory tour for the governor and presumed presidential candidate. instead this weekend christie has been dogged by new accusations and by democratic pr protesters. the republicans who scheduled his events have gone to, quote, super secret lengths to keep the press away, not just keeping them out but keeping them from evening knowing where the events are being held and this afternoon christie is scheduled
to meet with more than 100 republicans at the home of one of the richest men in america who founded the home depot. although it is not a fund-raising event. according to langone, it is a time for christie to connect with prominent republican supporters from the financial and political communities. maybe they'll be talking about brady versus manning, maybe they'll be talking about something else. we'll be talking about something else but i'll be watching brady versus manning later. senator greenstein, i wanted to pick it back up with you braus assembly bramnick was saying this is not a place for political committees, a place for the senate committees. you are saying you think there is a place for your committee to do this, to do an investigation into what dawn zimmer said yesterday. >> i do. i think both the senate and the assembly committees should look at it. i think if dawn zimmer herself, mayor zimmer, decides to go to the u.s. attorney, she can do that. and i do believe that the u.s. attorney will look at the facts that we uncover and will
probably tell us at a certain point we're picking this up as a criminal investigation. but i still think to start out we should take a look at it as we're hopefully going to do. >> and, david, you've covered new jersey politics, you've covered the down fall of governor defrancesco and governor mcgreevey. you've seen the roots. looking at past experience covering situations like that, how do you think about what you're seeing right now with chris christie? >> you know, i actually think that what he's experiencing is kind of a changed political r l reality both outside the state and very much so in state. we had a story on the front page today about that external reality shift. you alluded to some of the problems he's encountering, fund-raising for other republicans. lindsey graham and south carolina has basically said no thanks to the planned visit by
governor christie. inside the state, you know, all these investigations, it's kind of like reporters and to some degree lawmakers have become like the tom cruise character in "a few good men" trying to prove that governor christie ordered the code red. now pretty much every major deal that he's done behind the scenes, you know, if it proves that he's a bully or if it proves that he's vindictive, if it proves he's a hardball player, it's almost like it will feed this narrative that he's practicing policy only in pursuit of politics. and that's a really difficult thing. i mean, the guy who a lot of people vetted for him, many democrats i know voted for him thinking that he was kind of an entertaining character. the thing is you don't really need him on that wall. it's a little much for people who might have thought he was
entertaining to see the reality might be a little too much for people. >> i've always said this outside of new jersey having covered new jersey that there's two images of new jersey that people have and one is very positive of the jersey guy that's unvarnished, rough around the edges guy who is plain spoken and isn't going to bs you and that's the image of new jersey that chris christie has projected outside the state. he's made him so popular nationally. you see him in iowa and in south carolina talking about i'm going to talk to you jersey style today and the crowd eats it up. the stuff that's coming out about the bridge, the stuff that the mayor of hoboken alleges yesterday, speaks to this other image of new jersey as this den of seediness and corruption and malfeasance and dirty dealing, it seems for the governor right now is with some of the revelations, some of the accusations, that's where it stands right now, but that they feed into that kind of image, that side of new jersey. >> this is what i've learned, when you're that popular as a republican nationally and you're
ahead in the polls over hillary clinton, you'd better be real careful at who is coming at you. that's the first. second, chris christie, there's been no proof whatsoever, none, that he's connected to any of the allegations. so at some point in time and i truly believe when it turns out that he was not connected, he comes out of this as a tougher, stronger, and even more popular leader. >> even if it comes out of this that chris christie him seven did not know about any of the bridge stuff, that what he said in the press conference is totally true, doesn't it come out that he's an incompetent leader because this happened in his office, under him and he was clue ne clueness and didn't see it coming? >> when stupid stuff happens, and i run a law office and msnbc has a lot of employees, when stupid stuff happens, if you take responsibility and then it's shown that you weren't connected to it, in my judgment, it shows he's strong.
now, he's so unusual. i don't think i've ever seen anybody as charismatic, as stro strong, and he took new jersey -- he changed things in new jersey no one thought they could ever change. risky business. >> we'll pick it up right after this. we have one more segment. ng? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'. [ cellphones beeping ] ♪ [ cellphone rings ] hello? [ male announcer ] over 12,000 financial advisors. good, good. good. over $700 billion dollars in assets under care. let me just put this away. [ male announcer ] how did edward jones get so big? could you teach our kids that trick? [ male announcer ] by not acting that way. ok, last quarter... [ male announcer ] it's how edward jones makes sense of investing. ♪
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everybody wants the same thing. everybody wants the facts. they want to know what happened. i think governor christie made it clear that he is very d displeased with what happened. and you now have multil am investigations that are ongoing that will disclose the facts and if there's something to learn for the port authority at that time, then certainly. >> that is new york governor andrew cuomo who was in new york yesterday. this is the first time he's making a public statement about bridge gate. and that's one of the sort of pieces of this that hasn't gotten him much exploration, maybe a phone call, david, between governor christie and
governor cuomo. a lot of mystery about -- >> the cuomo folks pushed back very hard on that saying there was no such communication between the offices even though they both run the port authority. andrew cuomo is a former attorney general himself. i'm sure he's very aware of and is obviously very cautious by nature of the whole -- >> he's cautious of everything. he talks four times a year in public. >> so he's clearly -- but a lot of his appointees including mr. foye at the port authority have a big role here and are likely to be -- i can't remember now, i assume he's been subpoenaed, but other people will be on the list as well. he has a lot more at stake. >> the other thing i wanted to ask you, david, you wrote a story this weak looking at bridgette kelly, the now former deputy chief of staff to chris christie who said time for traffic and the e-mail.
the tone of your reporting suggested what you learned is she is not looking to take down chris christie here with any information she might have. can you share a little bit of what you learned? >> it's interesting. i know that she had been portrayed by the governor and some other folks as sort of a rogue operative, at least, but her reputation according to a lot of her friends, and these are both democrats and republicans, is someone who is an incredibly hard worker and very earnest and really committed to the people who mentored her, first assemblyman russo and governor christie and she was described by someone who is not a cowboy, someone who generally follows orders and is very loyal. so the idea she cooked up this entire scheme is implausible to the people who know her the best though, again, we don't know. who knows? >> we told the story on the show last week of brett schundler, and the name may not mann anything nationally but he's the commissioner of education and
chris christie tired him and called him a liar at a press conference and brett schundler's position was i screwed up. i deserved to get fired but i wasn't a liar. i didn't lie to the governor. and he took that -- he was so angry about that carrickry zigs that he took all these documents he had that proved he had kept the governor's office in the loop. he went forward with them. that has been in my mind since watching chris christie at the press conference saying over and over the bridgette kelly is a liar, if she will reach the point but she hasn't gotten there yet. >> i think there's a pattern. that's one of the things we'll be looking at is a pattern. he definitely has a pattern of calling people liars, firing them. for example, he didn't call this person a liar but he fired michelle brown and then rehired her. so when the right time comes he may rehire somebody. one other thing i want to say, there's a lot of talk about in the press conference last week the governor said i take
responsibility. my personal opinion is just firing a bunch of people is not re really taking responsibility. it is taking an action but responsibility is really looking at yourself and figuring out if you really have a role here. >> and there are committees as we are say that go are in place to maybe figure that out for him, for us, for all of us. we'll talk about that. a the lot of questions we'll are try to tackle in the next hour. i want to thank jon bramnick, david chen. the biggest questions that are still out there in the bridge lane closure scandal we'll ask them and try to tackle them right after this. feeling? copd includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. spiriva is a once-daily inhaled copd maintenance treatment that helps open my obstructed airways for a full 24 hours. spiriva helps me breathe easier. spiriva handihaler tiotropium bromide inhalation powder does not replace fast-acting inhalers for sudden symptoms. tell your doctor if you have kidney problems,
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♪ or said you liked but thought were cheesy ♪ ♪ you don't even need to leave your house ♪ ♪ we'll come and take them, easy-peasy ♪ [ female announcer ] no one returns the holidays like the u.s. postal service. with improved priority mail flat rate, just print a label, schedule a pickup, and return those gifts at a same low flat rate. just print a label, schedule a pickup, ♪ nothing says, "you're my #1 copilot," like a milk-bone biscuit. ♪ say it with milk-bone. governor christie spent a mayrathon to respond to questios with about the george washington bridge scandal. but if he'd been hoping the nearly two-hour-long press conference would be enough to put the questions to rest, well, tally it seems the exact opposite occurred. that day and every day since has generated more unanswered
questions. the biggest question being why? why did chris christie's aides close down those access lanes to the george washington bridge? what did they hope to gain from it? did they hope to gain anything? so far there are many competing theories, some more well documented, some more plausible than others. the next question, who else might have been involved? this week "wall street journal" reporter ted mann published photographs, the authority who arranged the lane closures, the third day of the closures. also there that day was bill barone, the other official directly involved as well as david samson, the port authority chairman, who is a close christie ally. both christie and samson have said they didn't know what wildsteen and baroni was doing and we don't know what was discussed when they were together on that day. it does raise questions that on january 9 when he he said he had
not encountered david wildstein in a long time. >> i could probably count on one hand the number of conversations i've had with david since he's worked with the port authority. i did not interact with david. >> for now the e-mail trail has led us to bridged kelly, to bill stepian and to the two appointees. but who else might have known what was going on? we know that bill baroni forwarded pat foye's emaim of september 13 that conveyed outr outrage about the lane closures to guadagno fw regina egea. did she tell anyone about it? was she involved in any way? when bridged kelly said time for traffic problems in ft. lee who, if anyone, authorized that directi
directive? what was in that conversation before that e-mail? that's a critical part of the back story we haven't yet pieced together and then there's the billion dollar question. was the governor himself involved? david wildstein suggests there may have been a meeting between christie and david samson the week before the lane closures. the fact that he included it in his response to the subpoena suggests it might be relevant. he was instructed to turn over documents that were only relevant to the closures. his attorney made that point clear. it that meeting that wildstein texted about happen and what did the governor and samson talk about? what else does david wildstein know and if he gets immunity, what will he divulge? new statements from his lawyer on friday reupping the offer to talk in exchange for immunity. quote, there is a story to tell. he would be happy to talk about all he knows. next, who else among the governor's staff might chris christie dismiss while the scandal grows, if it grows? he said he fired steppian not because he knew anything about
the closures but he didn't like the tone of the e-mails that he was sending. >> i was disturbed by the tone and behavior and attitude, callous indifference, that was displayed in the e-mails by my former campaign manager bill st steppian. and reading that it made me lose my confidence in bill's judgment. >> but he hasn't fired his spokesman, michael drewniak who is repeatedly dropping f-bombs. seems to be the same kind of arrogant, callous communication that supposedly could shake the governor's confidence but drewniak is still working for the governor. also, could there be a pattern of behavior and incidence here? yesterday on this show we reported allegations from hoboken new jersey mayor dawn zimmer who says she was told by top christie administration
officials that her city would be denied critical relief funds unless she approved projects favored by the governor. in the last hour we reported the chairman of new jersey state senate judiciary committee is now calling on the new jersey state commission on investigation, an independent bipartisan panel, to open an investigation into zimmer's claims. so here to discuss the unanswered bridgegate questions new jersey assemblywoman valerie huddle. she is a democrat. she was appointed to sit on the committee looking into the lane closures. we have the weekly insider news report on new jersey politics and a friend of the show. still at the table state senator linda greenstein and david helbfinger also with "the new york times." there are so unanswered questions here to start with. i guess the one that's most intriguing to me at this moment is, and i've said this before, david wild stein was my boss. this anonymous website he ran for years he seems to be pushing
and his lawyer seems to be pushing for some kind of immunity here. nick, to you think he has -- would he be an attractive person to give immunity to? >> more than attractive. everything we know up to this moment, everything we know for certain, we know because david wildstein wants us to know. that's all we have are these papers that he redacted telling us his version of the story and implicating or suggesting that other people are involved, which is kind of an 0 offer to the u.s. attorney saying i have information about this. everything else is conjecture and it's so much fun. >> you looked over the documents. >> i looked at the governor when he appointed wildstein for the port authority. he said he will be my eyes and ears at the port and he shares my vision. and we are trying to find out what that vision is at this point because when we see now
all of these connections and these series of conflicts, that is why i would hope that the subpoenas when we gather the information they give us some facts or at least give us some information to some of these questions being raised. >> exactly. >> and how confident are you -- because we had the initial round of subpoenas for baroni and wildstein. that's where all this came from. it was primarily wildstein's stuff but baroni had a few valuable tidbits, i guess. how confident are you in your committee that the subpoenas you sent out this week that you're going to get answers to them? >> i think that's why we sent out such a wide net of subpoenas. 20 subpoenas. 17 individuals and three organizations. and we do have special counsel. i think once we get the information and it goes through a nonpartisan -- >> the office of legislative services. and, again, we have a bipartisan
committee. we will go through what is relevant to a case but to the committee for the answers. so i think once that's disseminated we'll reconvene in mid-february and will have some information. >> see, david, what jumped out at me from what assemblyman bramnick was saying last hour, he was trying to discredit the assemblywoman's committee trying to say the process is not fair. it's rigged by the democrats. it's 8-4. only wisniewski has the authority the to issue subpoenas. it made me think back to chris christie's address where he would cooperate with all appropriate investigations and it seemed to me the groundwork is being laid for the governor to declare the assembly investigation, which is the most aggressive, may be inappropriate to cooperate with.
>> i think it's becoming politically difficult to do that. the ground is shifting around them. >> i wasn't sure but i thought i heard had bramnick called for the u.s. attorney to investigate. it may not be appropriate for the legislative committee but perhaps that should be for the prosecutors to do. maybe all she needs to do is call up the u.s. attorney's office and they can get that going. >> that struck me, too. that struck me, too, when he said that. take us through, if you could, senator, where the -- because we had this flood of subpoenas that were issued by the assembly committee. your committee is yet to meet. what's happening? >> one thing that i think is very important is senator weinberg was really at the very forefront of this, the one who first started attending the port authority meetings and really got the issue going. the assembly committee had subpoena power at that point so they started earlier. our committee was constituted
last week. i'm proud to be a member of it. we are having our first meeting this wednesday and then we have the power to issue subpoenas and my guess is we'll do it then. >> so i guess one of the questions, be too, you mentioned the possibility of the u.s. attorney, jon bramnick is suggesting if the u.s. attorney were to come in would that effectively shut down what's happening legislatively? >> no. >> i don't think so because there is still the question of, you know, why the traffic jam. so there are now certain pieceses that we have to get to and don't forget the governor hired randy mastra as his special attorney, a crisis management attorney, so to speak. and let's hope that all of that information is transparent as well. and remember there's also a little conflict there. he right now, randy master, represented part of the aaa
litigation. so it seems everyone is coming from the port authority. >> aaa is suing the port authority over the toll hikes and is looking for documents connecting the go of's office with i think both states' governors offices that there was collusion we're going to float a higher number and then commit to a lower toll hike. >> that surprised me. that's what happened before. my goodness. >> the law firm is where he comes from. >> you have to realize or remember where the initial motivation came for the subpoenas was about the toll hikes. where is -- where are the moneys going? and now we're finding out that the port authority, you know, did the study for hoboken and other projects that came from the port authority. he so i think the can cull turp of the port authority and that's what weigh need to have accountable to the people and more transparent. >> i remember when the port authority was buying very expensive art for the walls of their offices. this is nothing new. the agency is almost 100 years
old and there have been complaints about this for 100 years and the problem with all of these -- all of these bi-state and it's not even -- sometimes they're just within one state, these independent agencies is they're responsible to no one except their bondholders. no one. not even really to the two governors. they're responsible to their bondholders, period. >> and i was going to say that i think one of our goals here with these committees is to make them responsible. >> i think we want to rein them in. right now i think they're pits of political patronage and we want to take a look at that issue. it may be that what's going on here with the bridge is a symptom and part it have is a symptom of what the problems are at the port authority. some could be a symptom of this culture within the administration. we want to get to that. >> and obviously the question hang i hanging over all of this is did chris christie know? did chris christie have foreknowledge of this? did chris christie find out early on and then just not want to ask questions and he was
intentionally not curious with about it? his contention, his absolute adamant contention was he had no idea until that "bergen record" story ran about two weeks ago. at the very least i find that version of events awfully hard to believe just based -- when you have -- as we've seen from the baroni documents, pat foye on the new york side saying you are potentially breaking state and federal laws in closing down these lanes. he says this to bill baroni and bill baroni we see in this forwards it to regina egea. she is his pick to be the next chief of staff. strongly suggests to me that it is implausible that chris christie didn't have any inkling of this until with about ten days ago. >> well, it would suggest e g ea is guilty of malpractice or the political equivalent. what's striking to me as these are metastasizing you have the u.s. attorney doing whatever he is doing. so many of those e-mails are
private e-mails and we've learned that in new york and new jersey, you know, official business is pretty much connected on a gmail account. people may have been lulled into the misconception those would never be opened, never obtained under the freedom of information laws. nobody sort of seems to have anticipated subpoenas. now that subpoenas are on the table, all over the place, coming soon to a mailbox near you, i think the odds if the governor knew any of these things somebody is going to have said so in an e-mail or text or something. >> when will they learn not to put things like this in e-mail? you had a lawyer on yesterday who said the "e" in e-mail stands for evidence. it's one of the greatest lines i've ever heard. everything. if you are going to get involved in something like this and you have to take the hard drive on your computer, put a bullet in it and throw it in the east river. that's the only way. >> it's been a learning experience for me, too. i've always assumed that a
government official or anybody who wants to keep something from me or a journalist, all they have to do is go to their yahoo! account from 1995 or whatever. no, turns out they don't. others were under that impression, too. >> there's an element no one has talked about david wildstein in his previous life as wally edge has 15 years of e-mails. i mean, it could go way beyond this bridge thing. he's prepared to turn some of that stuff over to the u.s. attorney. it could be maybe not crimes but a lot of embarrassment. >> wally edge, i've given disclosure, wally edge was the anonymous owner of the site politickernj.com, aol, instant messer and e-mail, cultivated relationships with lots of high-up people in new jersey politics, both sides of the aisle, a great source where his reporting came from. there is potentially a trove of e-mails there.
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do you feel like you have the authority to subpoena the governor? >> well, you know, that question gets asked all the time. there's no intention right now to subpoena the governor. you see, the problem with that question when i answer that question, the entire context is not the going to be reported and i understand that. so all i want to say is -- >> there are cameras recording everything. >> i know, i know. i understand how this works, too. that's not -- that's not what we're doing. right now we're going to issue subpoenas to individuals and organization that is we've seen in the documents that are relevant to our inquiry. >> that is new jersey assemblyman john wisniewski ahead of subpoenas being release that had night. i wanted to pick it up with you.
bill baroni was one of christie's pointmen at the point authority. it's some of his subpoenaed e-mail, texts that are responsible for the stories blowing up. same district, you served with him, you were his seat mate. what are your impressions of him and had his role in the scandal? >> starting with my impressions when i served with him. definitely very bright. he was always at least on the surface very, very much a gentleman to me, very polite. we had a few laughs. he was the consummate politician. i used to say this to everybody. in fact, i liken some of the things i did that i did with well to learning it from watching him because he was really, really good at politics. just one of the best i've seen. i'm frankly, as so many are, shocked that he would be part of this. >> that's the thing. people who know bridget kelly
and i few her when she worked for russo. i've been saying this. i cannot reconcile the bridgette can kel kelly i knew with this. what you say about baroni, you can't see baroni as the guy who put this together. i can't see bridget kelly as the one to give the order. that feeds the suspicion this goes -- >> that's what makes me think there's a lot more to this. certainly i think there are higher powers that are directing it. and i just don't think any one of these people would do it alone. i think it's coming from somewhere. i'm not sure it's a rogue operation. >> who are you most interested in hearing from? of all the people that have been subpoenaed, who do you think is the most important? >> of course if mr. wildstein does come and does not plead the fifth, if he's granted immunity, i would love to hear what he has to say. bridget kelly. when people receive subpoenas i'm sure that especially on that
second tier level -- i don't think she is the first tier but the second tier level, let's hear what she has to say. she has the answers of the motivation and who told her to do this. >> what's more valuable for your committ committee? as we saw with wildstein an awful lot got out there. they were heavily redacted, this release of heavily redacted documents got a lot out there. he shows up, pleads the fifth, he doesn't say anything. still, it feels to me if you could put together e-mails from bridget kelly, from regina egea you could piece these together so maybe the documents alone are enough? >> even the redaction is a ploy. it's part of a game. you can negotiate to unredact some things but if you give it the first time unredacted you can't then say, no, i want to cross that out. so that's a bargaining chip with wildstein, too. he has a very good lawyer. they know what they're doing. >> who else should -- of those -- the thing about
wildstein, to take a step back, i felt like his relationship with christie has been misportrayed in the press a little bit. >> i agree. >> they grew up in the same town. they're not that close. there's not this longtime, like he wants to protect chris christie. i can see david wildstein as someone who would cut a deal and feel he's not giving up his best friend or something like that. are there other names in the mix who fit that criteria? >> in light of the new revelations with the mayor of hoboken, mr. samson does come in. when we start looking at the complex. chairman of the port authority, his firm recommending the rockefeller development group being the form earp dca commissioner working with wolff/samson. those are the pieces we need to put this together. >> i don't get that piece. i'm sorry. what are you -- who do you expect the rockefeller group to hire? bernie the attorney? >> he's the head of the port
authority. you review for ethics. >> to be clear, we reached out to the rockefeller group for comment, and their statement was that we have no knowledge or any information pertaining to this allegation. if it turns out to be true, it would be deplorable and we have not reported anything that suggests the rockefeller group itself was engaged in any wrongdoing. it's the connection that's been drawn has been that the rockefeller group is represented by the law firm of david samson who is christie's appointee, is christie's confidant, and the allegation from the mayor of hoboken is that it's two top level christie administration officials saying fast track that proposal. is that something you want your committee look iing into? >> well, he is one of the targets that has received a subpoena, so i am sure that he just hired an attorney, he hired michael chertoff, he will be coming in as well. and i think, you know, again, we are gathering information. it's a legislative committee to get the information and from there, then we will see where it will lead to. >> and, david, how does the
governor's office, again, you've covered governor's offices in crisis before new jersey, how do they handle something like this from a legal standpoint? how should they be? >> i wouldn't presume to advise them. >> what do you see? what do you see? >> they really don't want to listen to me. you know, i don't know legally but politically the governor is in kind of a kill the clock kind of a situation now. he needs for your committee, for all of these investigative entities to take time. hopefully for him not to turn up more bombshells like dawn zimmer and for more of them not to appear on the front pages of these newspapers. and he needs to let weeks go about by in which he can do some gubernatorial things, maybe get to the budget without getting clobbered by another set of facts. and i think that, you know, there's a point maybe at which
this story potentially could get a little old to people and, you know, if he's able to put a few things on the board in a positive chief executive kind of way, maybe he can kind of turn this around. >> yeah, it sounds like february 3 is the key date when this next round of subpoenas comes in. >> i was going to say and i know we haven't brought this up yet but it's been said and i think this is true there are many parallels to the watergate situation here. and i know at the time that that was going on because i was around then. it wasn't necessarily something that every member of the public sat and watched on tv every day. it was sort of going on and you'd hear things, you'd see things in the paper, but it just took its time, tried to do things right and eventually found its way. it wasn't the intention but it found its way into the president's office. and i've also heard this said that the tapes that he kept are very equivalent to the e-mails today. you don't have to keep tapes. there are e-mails. it's out there. >> there's no famous 18-minute
gap. i don't know if there's an equivalent. maybe we'll find out. >> no providetory get it from back then. >> thanks to new jersey's nick acocella for joining us. coming up, the time governor christie took on and took out an entire television network. that story just ahead. real difficult... pretty obvious to me. i'm going to have to say verizon. verizon. that's right! the choice is obvious. verizon's superfast 4g lte network is over three times larger than any other 4g lte network. act now to get $100 or more off any smartphone when you trade in any smartphone on america's largest, most reliable 4g lte network. that's powerful. verizon. now get a free lg g2, with a 13-megapixel camera. ♪ drimusic stopsusic ♪ music resumes ♪ music stops ♪ music resumes
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he established his reputation as hard-nosed federal prosecutor who took on corrupt state politicians. his reputation had been burnished when a sting operation started under his wash at the u.s. attorney's office, ended up and resulted in the roundup of dozens of state officials. the evening of august 17, 2009, less than two months from the election, some troubling new information about chris christie emerged. >> an exclusive tonight on the governor's race. we've learned that republican gubernatorial candidate chris christie has an ongoing financial relationship with the number two prosecutor in the u.s. attorney's office. chr christie, u.s. attorney before making his run for office, confirmed to njn news that he and his wife in 2007 took out a $46,000 mortgage for first assistant u.s. attorney michelle brown for which the christies are still being repaid monthly. >> stack fink was then a reporter for njn, the state's
public television station. and he unearthed a document showing chris christie's close financial relationship with assistant attorney michelle brown, one of the federal prosecutors whose job includes prosecuting state officials. she had been one of his top d p deputies, one of his top deputies in the office. "the new york times" followed up on the story revealing that christie failed to report the lone income on financial forms as a violation of state and federal ethics rules. the state owned tv network's reporting brought in a barrage of damaging stories about christie's past at the height of the campaign. seven months later, though, as the newly inaugurated governor, christie announced his plans to get rid of njn. >> another part of that cleaning up is to analyze which functions can be best performed by state employees and by outoutsiders. does it need to own its own television network? new jersey network can and will succeed as an independent not for profit and we should free it to pursue that path.
>> now chris christie wasn't the only person to suggest revamping the state-owned station. njn executives themselves had floated the idea of going independent during corzine's term as governor due to growing budget cuts. montclair state university said it would raise more than $7 million to run the station and produce original content. used by public broadcasting in other states. in june of 2011 christie announced a different plan. his own plan. he would be transferring the station's operations to another state, to the new york station wnet. >> wnet will partner with the caucus educational corporation and will produce new jersey focused public affairs programming for the new channel. >> now if you're involved in new jersey politics that name there, the person christie named to produce new jersey programming, might sound familiar to you, the son of steve adoboto sr.
he is a legendary power broker in the state, big steve. he's a democrat from the northward of newark. political friends and foes don't always line up along party lines in new jersey. and my experience is that big steve is a political boss that christie formed a krcritical alliance with. look at it this way, the morning after christie won the election in 2009, he appeared at his northward center in newark. and to many it received a confirm mags that adubato had been withri christie. and those lawyer to adubato and joseph who had provided key assistan assistance. key democratic assistance. he even endorse d christie's re-election. not only did christie terminate njn, that dug up damaging dirt on him, he cut a deal for much of the content to be produced by the son of a boss who's about been one of his strongest
democratic allies. as christie's leadership style comes under scrutiny now, the story of the demise of njn offers a potential useful window into how he governs. still with us new jersey assemblywoman valerie huttle, zach fink, now a reporter with new york one news, linda greenstein and david halbfinger with t"the new york times." if you could repeat the basics and tell people what it was you reported in 2009 and then what happened. >> it was the height of the campaign and really christie had been a prosecutor and a lot of times with prosecutors they can very often not answer questions. say that's part of an ongoing investigation. when you start running for governor it's a whole new ball game. and this is the first story that landed a punch, so to speak. michelle brown, who he had promoted to number two person at the u.s. attorney's office, he had loaned her $46,000.
this was hard to find but we did wind up finding it and david ha halbfinger had the story the next day, i believe it was, that he had failed to disclose the income from that lone an on hisx returns which indicated to a lot of people there was something to hide here or cover up. >> that's the other piece of the story, david, that you had. there was not just the relati relationship, the financial relationship, which raised questions, but then there was the tax issue as well. >> that's right. and, remember, all this is happening a few weeks after -- >> the roundup of the 44. >> all the arrests and michelle brown, another story i did at the time was that michelle brown had been involved in pushing that roundup forward in time. there were some people saying they should wait. within the u.s. attorney's office we reported she was a voice saying, let's go. there was concern christie's
succe successor would get announced and christie may not be the guy to get the credit the way he did get the credit even though he was campaigning for office at the time because of it. yeah, it was a crucial relationship to disclose in the homestretch. >> i've heard talking to people in new jersey politics, unconfirmed stuff, but people who say, oh, i talked to the governor. i was around the governor, or the candidate in 2009. people around christie in 2009. and they say that, you know, he would be cursing njn for doing this. do you see his subsequent actions as governor, zach, as sort of your report triggered that? >> i can't say i could say that. i wasn't privy to the conversation that took place within the christie administration. i can say that a number of people at the time told me that. i did hear that from deep within. we also know that to a certain extent at one point during the legislative correspondents association dinner in 2010, christie was there.
it's all off the record so i won't say what he said. he made a very personal attack in a speech against njn and everybody in that room came away saying we're pretty convinced this is what he's going to do. it's the kind of thing that would have been funny had he not gone and done that after the fact, actually shut it down. a lot of people felt at the very least the nature, the manner in which it was done, was very heavy handed and very personal. >> and, valerie, the other piece of this, too, there's the question of shutting down njn or transferring the license, as we said there were discussions in trenton. there were discussions at njn of, you know, we can't continue being a state owned entity but other options. >> there were. and i will tell you there were many of the legislators wanted to save njn and at least some piece of njn because, don't forget, that was our news for new jersey. new jersey stuck between manhattan and philly. this was our station.
we had the state house. we had reporters such as zach fink in the state house. this was the trenton outlet. we wanted to save njn. and fast forward, i believe, the bill was fast tracked. they had hearings and the committee and when you look at the makeup of the committee i believe it favored to shut down njn. >> the final vote, though, i remember there was a final vote on a bill that would have saved njn for a few months and it failed by one vote in the state senate. that one vote was somebody employed by state senator employed by essex county and that is big steve adubato, these pro-chrysty democrats and there's your key vote that kills off njn. >> well, i know it was in the budget committee and perhaps other committees very, very strong support. i know sthonoknow senator weinb
and others spoke in support of it. on the floor many people were in support but, unfortunately, it lost, as you say, by the one vote. it was, i feel terrible about it. at first njtv was really pr primitive and they admitted that. they were saying we'll get better. well, they have gotten better. but to tell you the truth, i don't think they're up to the standards of njn. when they were leaving the network, they had a lot of their own shows on for a couple of weeks and it was just amazing to watch. they were all over the state house with their trucks. they were on site all the time and it was just wonderful reporting. one of the best. >> we'll pick this up on the other side and just talk about this as a window into chris christie's leadership style because the theme of this whole george washington bridge scandal has been payback politics and there seems to be a strong element of that here. oh. let's go. from the crack, off the backboard. [ laughs ] dad! [ laughs ]
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christie, the state-owned public tv station in new jersey in 2009 ran a very damning story about him and as governor he shut down the station and gave its license to a new york station and they sort of contracted out a lot of their work to the son of a political boss who has been very friendly with chris christie and i wonder, assemblywoman, is this a window into the style of chris christie? did we learn how he sort of governs, prioritizes and combines things? >> it shows a pattern, a pattern how he lays down the law. he gets things done through whether it's retaliation or whether it's retribution or it's promising somebody else something. it just sets a pattern. again, these are opinions. and it just certainly, though, raises much more concern and suspicion when you start to, you know, look at the history of how he operates and how he governs.
it, again, raises bigger questions. >> david was making this point earlier, in the current context, the current climate, a story like this, there's a story out there that "the new york times" ran a few months ago about the huntington county, possible intervention to quash an investigation. it landed with nobody paying any attention. in this climate now i think there's a reconsideration of christie and his style and his leadership going on by the press and by the public and these sorts of stories if people reconsider them, maybe change their view of him. >> this would be happening anyway because he's running for president, would be scrubbing the national media going back and scrubbing everything christie ever did that was of any controversy. but now you have a whitewater happening in real time and everybody can get their teeth into it, take it where it leads. everything in christie's background going back to his time as u.s. attorney, his
entire governorship is fair game and everybody will be on it. >> that gets you to the new book -- i think it's the halperin one where there's been the romney campaign and the christie people where it's like the christie people are putting out the story of, you know, he turned down, didn't want to be t the vice president shoot candidate and romney said we did the vet of christie and could never put him on a national ticket. the national press is looking at that context probably, too. >> the point i wanted to make about michelle brown is very important, which was that a lot of people felt as though the fbi and the u.s. attorney's investigation during the height of the campaign, the jersey sting, so-called, with where more than 40 people were arrested, the number two person at the u.s. attorney's office was michelle brown who literally owed the republican candidate for governor money and people felt as though that investigation disrupted some key get out the vote people in
democratic precincts. so that's a point, also. getting back to njn briefly, if i could, the haphazard manner in which wync, rudy giuliani, did a very success transfer where the employees were held harmless and transferred over to a nonprofit. a lot of people are saying, doing the transition a little more slowly, what's the rush? not only did it put some one hundred-odd people out of work, but what about the archives. that's more than 40 years of new jersey history, its leaders, incampaigns, that is in a video archive that's sitting in a warehouse in trenton deteriorating. it hasn't been digitized, it should be preserved. i'm not even a new jersey resident and i think someone should take a look at this out and put it in a library. >> the c-span.org. >> i think you've got a commitment from the two
legislators here today that are going to push that. >> we want to find out what our guests should know for today. we'll go around the table and get their answers right after this. the better you feel. these days we both eat smarter. and i give jake purina cat chow naturals. made with real chicken and salmon, it's high in protein like a cat's natural diet. and no added artificial flavors. we've come a long way. and whatever's ahead, we'll be there for each other. naturally. purina cat chow naturals.
i want to find out what my guests think i know this week, and we'll start with you, zach. >> there are still a couple of questions regarding the new york side of this story. we know that pat foy had that e-mail back in september, where he was the first one to raise the issue of a crime being committed. if a crime was committed, did he report that to authorities? i think this is a question that needs to be asked. we also know that this came out, in other words, it had been going on for a few months, but it really started to come out after rob astorino, a potential republican governor, gubernatorial candidate, met with christie in arizona, at the republican governor's association, and we were told, might have gotten some sort of words of support from christie. suddenly the story starts to get out and starts to gain momentum. >> that's interesting. i would like to see where that is. but i think, also, i think, maybe, more elected officials may be coming forward, telling their stories, maybe, of
retaliation or whatever. and i wouldn't be surprised if you see some more mayors coming out. >> be interesting to watch. >> i do wonder how many more don zimmers are out there. a few weeks ago, they might have needed to form a secret support group. but now they can just go on the air and, you know, let 'em have it. >> yeah. senator? >> i think over the next week, we're going to really set in place the mission of the senate committee and look at the scope of it and get our subpoenas out and as soon as we get the results on those subpoenas, i think we're going to know a lot more, working very closely with the assembly committee. >> yeah. i want to -- i have the same question. i want to see if there are other don zimmers out there. because it seems, the question, as we said earlier in the show, why do you wait so long, the political climate last year, i couldn't imagine a governor who was in a more safe political climate in the state of new jersey than chris christie. so it would be so dangerous politically for one person to stand up, witheven with a polit
grievance now it's there. and i want to just add one completely non-new jersey, non-political thing today. go, patriots. i know it's probably not going to happen. they are probably not going into mile high and winning after coming back from 24 down, but i would love to see it happen. i want to thank valerie green stein, zach fink, and david halbfinger for joining us. be back here next saturday and sunday at 8:00 a.m. eastern time. may be some more developments out of new jersey, but don't go away because right now melissa harris-perry is up next. coming up, the long legacy this country has of listening in. that and an interview with c.c. mcdonald is up next and we'll see you next weekend right here up on "up." today we're going to play a little game.
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new fresh effects from olay. this morning, my question -- what's in the water in west virginia? plus, laverne cox of orange is the new black and the newly freed c.c. mcdonald join me live. and new questions about the war in iraq and what it accomplished. but, first, the government's long history of tlng in. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. have you ever taken a look at our list of federal holidays? and it's not a long list, because federal holidays are special. whatever ted cruz may have had you thinking last year, we don't shut the entire u.s. government down for just anybody. if you are among those who sacrifice and dedicate their lives to the safety and security of our